OBJECTIVE : This study was conducted to define a safe, effective dose regimen for metformin in moderate and severe chronic kidney disease (CKD; stages 3A/3B and 4, respectively), after the lifting of restrictions on metformin use in patients with diabetes with moderate-to-severe CKD in the absence of prospective safety and efficacy studies. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS : Three complementary studies were performed: 1) a dose-finding study in CKD stages 1-5, in which blood metformin concentrations were evaluated during a 1-week period after each dose increase; 2) a 4-month metformin treatment study for validating the optimal metformin dose as a function of the CKD stage (3A, 3B, and 4), with blood metformin, lactate, and HbA(1c) concentrations monitored monthly; and 3) an assessment of pharmacokinetic parameters after the administration of a single dose of metformin in steady-state CKD stages 3A, 3B, and 4. RESULTS : First, in the dose-finding study, the appropriate daily dosing schedules were 1,500 mg (0.5 g in the morning [qam] +1 g in the evening [qpm]) in CKD stage 3A, 1,000 mg (0.5 g qam + 0.5 g qpm) in CKD stage 3B, and 500 mg (qam) in CKD stage 4. Second, after 4 months on these regimens, patients displayed stable metformin concentrations that never exceeded the generally accepted safe upper limit of 5.0 mg/L. Hyperlactatemia (>5 mmol/L) was absent (except in a patient with myocardial infarction), and HbA(1c) levels did not change. Third, there were no significant differences in pharmacokinetic parameters among the CKD stage groups. CONCLUSIONS : Provided that the dose is adjusted for renal function, metformin treatment appears to be safe and still pharmacologically efficacious in moderate-to-severe CKD.